Why Would I Use a Franchise Consultant?
Are you looking at starting a franchise business? You can do your own “self-guided” tour of the internet to search for the right fit. But if you’re new to the world of franchising and you peer too deeply into the research, the process can get confusing. There are so many different options for franchise ownership out there. Which is the right choice for you?
When it comes to finding the right franchise, there are two options out there:
- You can embark on a self-guided tour of available franchises via the internet. You’ll conduct your research and sift through the 4,000+ companies that are selling franchises.
- You can take a “guided tour” with someone well-versed in what’s available; using the expertise of someone that has done it before.
Think of other areas in your life where you might make big decisions or major investments and how you go about making these big decisions. Consider purchasing a home or rental property or investing in the stock market, for example. These investment opportunities have easy-to-use, internet-based platforms you can use to make purchases. Both homes and stocks have online resources that you can access – spending hours researching and learning more about the opportunities, pitfalls to avoid, etc., but is this the best way to learn about and navigate these bigger investment decisions? Particularly when you can consult a seasoned professional to help guide you?
Now—think for a moment—when you purchase a home or invest in the market do you handle it all yourself or do you lean on the experience and knowledge of an expert?
I use experts in both areas of investment; realtors and financial advisors. They both have so much more experience than I do in their fields.
The main reason I seek out their advice? I don’t invest frequently in real estate or my stock portfolio, but when I do, there is typically a set block of time when I can take advantage of my available resources (time and capital) to make a decision and engage my additional investment. When this happens, I lean on my advisors to guide me, get me up to speed quickly on what the market is doing now, and help me make the best decision possible to address my needs. It is the same in the franchise investment arena.
When swimming in new waters, it’s wisest to seek the advice, insight, and expertise of someone with more experience than you; someone who has their finger on the pulse of what’s happening in their industry.
But when you’re looking to invest in a franchise, how do you know if a consultant is qualified to support you as you make your decision?
Here are some questions you might ask a franchise consultant if you find yourself talking to one:
- How long have you been a franchise consultant? Like the fields of real estate and financial planning, there are plenty of franchising consultants out there, but there’s also lots of turnover. You’ll want to seek out someone who has been doing this for a while with an established track record of successful engagements.
- Have you ever owned a franchise? How many franchises has your prospective consultant owned—and how many locations? How many brands have they owned? A newer franchise consultant who has only ever owned a single location or only one brand will have a different perspective than someone who has owned multiple franchises or several locations.
- Have you ever owned two businesses at the same time? Down the line, there may come a time where you will want to invest in more than one franchise. Or you may be considering keeping your job and starting a franchise at the same time. A franchise consultant with experience in owning two businesses themselves can offer a realistic perspective for benefits and challenges that you might not have thought about.
- Have you ever owned businesses that weren’t part of a franchise? Ask your prospective consultant what other kinds of businesses they have owned and what perspective that offers. This can help have confidence that you are receiving balanced advice or examples of life inside and outside the franchise relationship.
- What did you do before you owned a franchise and what did you do before you were a franchise consultant? Not only will you gain insight into your consultant’s prior experience, but you’ll also learn about their journey to franchising and their additional qualifications to assist you in your decision-making process.
Working with a franchising consultant can be endlessly helpful if you find the right person.
Someone who is experienced and has in-depth knowledge about the world of franchising can have a majorly positive impact on your future. If you ask a series of questions around their depth of expertise, you’ll work with a consultant who can help you navigate the franchise world including:
- The discovery process
- The franchise agreement
- How to gather the right information from various brands
- How to create a pro forma you can be confident in
Chances are, you have a lot of questions. Things like, “What are the right kinds of questions to ask the franchisor?” and, “How many franchisees should I talk to before I make a decision?” A qualified franchise consultant can lead you through all of this to help you make an informed purchase decision.
Want to learn more or ask additional questions about owning your first franchise? Give us a shout.